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Source: MyABC50.com

Cleanup at the former GM site in Massena could mean new economic development

Posted: March 13, 2011
Originally Published: March 9, 2011

A United States Bankruptcy Judge in New York has approved a settlement agreement with the former General Motors Corp. that will dedicate $154 million to the environmental cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites in New York State. The agreement was approved as part of the company’s plan of liquidation and involved settlements with the federal government and several States, including New York and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. In all, the agreement will dedicate $773 million to 89 sites in 14 states around the country.

The 270-acre Massena site which is contaminated with Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), metals and other contamination from aluminum die-casting and other manufacturing activities that took place on the property from 1959 - 2009, will receive $120.8 million for continued remediation. The funds will not only clean up pollution that threatens public health and safety in these communities, but will also make these sites available and attractive for economic development.

"When General Motors shut down these facilities in the state, they left behind acres of contaminated land that threaten public health and the environment and represent major obstacles to local economic development efforts in many New York communities," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. "The money secured … will make a critical contribution to the effort to clean up GM's legacy of pollution, and return the Massena and Inland Fisher Guide sites to safe, economically productive use by their communities. The settlement does not represent the conclusion of this effort, as our office will continue to seek to recover additional funds to further remediate and redevelop other sites in New York where GM has obligations."

Dereth Glance, Executive Program Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said "We deeply appreciate Attorney General Schneiderman's commitment to obtain as much money as possible from the GM settlement for the removal of PCBs...The AG's success in holding polluters accountable is critical for improving the environment and economic health of our community."